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How to Pack for a Trip to Florida

Everything you need to know before your trip to Florida.

Everything you need to know before your trip to Florida.

Packing for a trip to Florida isn’t as simple as throwing your clothes into a suitcase; you’ll need to take into account the climate and current season, as well as where you are traveling and by what means. Driving down to Florida is much different than taking a plane regarding space and item restrictions. Planning to go the beach is different than spending the day at a theme park. Read on for advice on how to pack your bags for your trip, as well as what you cannot pack on an airplane.

Year-Round Essentials

Regardless of the occasion or time of year, you'll want to bring these key items on any trip to Florida:

  • sunscreen
  • sunglasses
  • sun hat or visor
  • flip-flops or sandals
  • comfy walking shoes (preferably water-proof)
  • loose, light-weight clothing
  • umbrella or poncho
  • swimsuit(s)
  • camera

What Clothes to Pack for Each Season

Spring and Summer

Temperature lows are around 75–80°F, while highs tend to sit in the lower 90s. Visiting Florida during the summer calls for much lighter, more breathable clothing than when traveling in the winter, along with other accessories.

Summers in Florida are very sunny and humid, so expect to be out in high heat during the day. Sunscreen is a must, as well as a good pair of sunglasses. If you plan on going to a beach, pool or water park, don’t forget your swimsuit!

While long sleeves might be the last thing you think to pack for 90-degree weather, bring a light jacket for chilly indoor spaces. Restaurants, hotels, and movie theaters put the AC on full-blast in the summer, so you might need to warm up again after cooling off!

Fall and Winter

The temperatures in Florida are fairly favorable all year round; however, during the winter, lows range around 39–65°F (depending on the region of the state) to daytime highs between 65–77°F. This warmer winter weather makes Florida a popular winter vacation spot, as it isn’t too hot or too cold.

With the mild temperatures, you won’t need a heavy winter jacket unless Florida goes through a rare cold spell. Even in the winter, it is usually very sunny out—sunscreen is still a must! Be sure to have one pair of pants for a particularly cold day; otherwise, shorts or capris should be just fine. Especially if you're staying in South Florida, you may still break a sweat in December!

Clothes for Spring or Summer

TopsBottoms

tank tops

shorts

short sleeves

flowy skirts

sundress or romper

capri pants

light jacket or cardigan

jeans

Clothes for Fall or Winter

TopsBottoms

tank tops or short sleeves

shorts

light-weight long sleeves

flowy skirts

mid-length or maxi-dress

capri pants

medium-weight jacket or sweatshirt

jeans

Florida's beaches are warm year-round.

Florida's beaches are warm year-round.

What to Bring for the Pool or Beach

Clothing & AccessoriesUseful Items

multiple bathing suits

aloe gel for sunburns

sarong or beach cover up

sand toys for children

flip-flops or sandals

jar or bag to collect shells

a quick change of clothes

cooler for snacks and drinks

sunscreen

reading material

sunglasses

portable music speakers

sun hat or visor

mesh bag for wet bathing suits

beach bag

sealable plastic bag to protect phone, keys, and wallet

beach umbrella

small comb for wet hair

towels

 

Can't Fit Beach Gear in Your Suitcase?

If you're driving down to Florida, it might be easy enough to pack everything in the trunk of your car, but if you're flying or working with tight space, consider buying or renting beach items around your vacation spot. Tourist shops offer hourly deals for water sport items such as boogie boards, snorkels, and flippers. For essentials like aloe vera gel, beach towels, and sand toys, head to a local supermarket like Publix or Walmart for inexpensive conveniences.

Going to Disney? Follow these tips to save money and keep track of your belongings.

Going to Disney? Follow these tips to save money and keep track of your belongings.

What to Pack for a Day at a Theme Park

  • Draw-string bag or small light-weight backpack
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Visor or sun hat
  • Comfortable, waterproof walking shoes
  • Paper fan or water mister
  • Ponchos for intermittent rain and/or splashing water rides
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Non-perishable snacks like pretzels, pb&js, fruit, or energy bars
  • Cash

Amusement Park Hacks

  • Wear a comfortable pair of walking shoes and appropriate clothing for going on rides. Save your flip-flops, skirts, and dresses for another day.
  • When going on attractions, you are often required to leave your bags with the operators of the ride until you are finished. Most theme parks offer lockers for this purpose, but it's still better to carry as few valuables as possible.
  • Personally, I prefer wearing boys cargo shorts with huge, button or velcro pockets; that way, I don’t have to worry about carrying around a bag for my wallet, phone, and other loose objects. If there is someone in your party that doesn’t enjoy rides, however, valuables can be left with them while they wait.
  • When at a theme park, it is easy to drop your wallet or lose track of a debit or credit card. By the time you finally realize your card is gone, it could have already been used by someone else, making cash a much better option.
  • While fun and character-themed, amusement park food items are outrageously priced! Save money by packing your own food and refillable water bottles. Be sure to check the official policies of the theme park you're going to, but both Disney and Universal allow outside food items.
  • If traveling with young children, plan your day based on age-appropriate rides and activities.
Before going to Florida, keep in mind seasonal factors like rain, storms, and ticket prices.

Before going to Florida, keep in mind seasonal factors like rain, storms, and ticket prices.

More Useful Items for the Sunshine State

Bring ThisBecause of Florida's...

anti-frizz hair spray

constant humidity

bug spray

vicious mosquitoes

wildlife/bird-watching book

524 different species of birds

pocket English-Spanish dictionary

vibrant Latin-American communities

Traveling by Airplane

If you plan on flying to Florida to visit, your luggage will be limited to carry-on and check-in space, as well as what TSA allows you to bring. If you are close enough to drive down, you can bring as many items as you can fit into your vehicle, as well as your own food and drink. Airplanes, on the other hand, restrict certain items in your carry-ons and other luggage due to safety concerns. Some examples of this include:

  • sharp objects; box cutters, knives, and scissors
  • sporting goods; baseball bats, hockey sticks
  • guns and firearms; ammunition, guns
  • tools; hammers, drills, wrenches
  • self-defense items; nightsticks, throwing stars
  • explosive materials; fireworks, flares
  • disabling chemicals; chlorine, liquid bleach

A full list of items prohibited on airplanes and carry-ons can be found on the TSA government website. Some of the items listed, while not allowed on the airplane itself, can be stored in checked luggage for the duration of the flight. Also, keep in mind the amount of extra space in your bags; you’ll want to leave some room for souvenirs!

TSA Review

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. You are allowed to bring certain sharp objects on your trip if they are in your checked bag.
    • True
    • False
  2. Chemicals like bleach are allowed in your carry-on bag.
    • True
    • False
  3. Fireworks are allowed onboard, as long as they are in your checked luggage.
    • True
    • False
  4. You can bring food and drink onboard as long as it is purchased past the airport's checkpoint.
    • True
    • False
  5. All flammable items are prohibited on an airplane in carry-ons or checked luggage.
    • True
    • False

Answer Key

  1. True
  2. False
  3. False
  4. True
  5. True

10 Hot Florida Attractions

Questions & Answers

Question: What can you bring in a carry-on to Florida?

Answer: You can bring a lot of things, as long as they fit in the bag or luggage and don't go against TSA rules. Sharp or flammable objects may not be allowed, for example.

Question: I'm thirteen, and we are moving to Florida. I was wondering what to bring to Florida like on the plane and the likes. What would you suggest?

Answer: If you are going to have liquids in your carry-on bag, they can only be in 3.4 oz containers, and all have to fit into a one quart-size bag. Other than that, solid snacks are okay to bring in your carry-on bag on the plane, as well as electronic devices to keep you occupied! Just make sure you have a bag that fits your airline's carry-on dimensions, and that everything you plan on bringing on the plane can fit into your bag. Airlines can be strict about carry-on bags, especially on crowded flights.

Question: How old do I have to be to ride a plane?

Answer: The only age restriction I know of applies to flying alone - if you are under 12 years old and flying without an adult, you are considered an unaccompanied minor and will need to be supervised to and from the plane. If you are older, you can fly alone without assistance.

Question: Can I bring a glass bottle of perfume in my luggage when flying to Florida?

Answer: If it's in carry-on luggage, it can only be a 3.4-ounce container or smaller, or in a one-quart bag in your carry-on. If it's in your checked luggage, any size is fine.

Question: Can I bring a baseball glove and ball on a carry-on?

Answer: There shouldn't be any reason why you cannot pack those in your carry-on!

Question: Am I allowed to bring my full-sized shampoo and conditioner on a flight to Florida?

Answer: Liquid containers can only be brought on board if 3.4 ounces or smaller, and inside of a 1-quart resealable bag. Anything larger can be packed in checked baggage.

Question: Can you bring snacks from home when traveling to Florida?

Answer: Yes, snacks are usually okay!

Question: Why do you have to turn off WiFi on a plane?

Answer: You don't have to turn off wifi - it's more about cell service. Airplane mode disables your phone's ability to connect to cell towers. This is required because your phone will attempt to connect to every tower you fly by. These signals can interfere with the navigational systems of the airplane. You can turn wifi on in airplane mode to access in-flight wifi.

Question: I am going to FL for the first time, and I am afraid of the sharks and jellyfish. We are going to Amelia Island. Will we be okay? Also with hurricanes.

Answer: Will you be swimming? You can always stick to the shallow edge of the beach if you are anxious. Since hurricanes are more common in Florida, their infrastructure is built to withstand severe weather.

Comments

Jessica Peri (author) from United States on March 15, 2020:

@Haleigh With everything going on in the country right now, traveling by car is likely safer. Enjoy your trip!

Haleigh campbell on March 14, 2020:

Hi my name is Haleigh and im off school for three weeks in ohio and i have gone to flordia every year since i was a child i usally take plane but im going by car this year

Katie-Mae on February 26, 2020:

Thank you! I have never been to Florida, but now I'm going in two weeks and this was so helpful I didn't even know what to bring. The tips was so helpful also.

Madison Lachowsky on June 04, 2019:

I have never been to Florida but I have always wanted to go. I am now finally going.

Lily on March 24, 2019:

Thank you

Dizzy1223 on March 16, 2019:

Thank you so much, i am going to florida and this was super helpful.

??? on March 04, 2019:

What all should I pack to Pensacola Beach? I am taking a road trip and as of now will be there 6-10- 6-13. I have been to Myrtle Beach, SC before, but never Pensacola Beach, FL.

Jessica Peri (author) from United States on January 29, 2019:

@Beth I'm glad it helped ease your stress - enjoy your trip!

Beth on January 28, 2019:

Going for a month is very stressful for the 1st time - this article was VERY helpful.

Connor Southall on January 16, 2019:

That was very great! Can’t wait to go on my trip.

Audrey Kaluza on September 27, 2018:

Leaving for Florida in 5 days! This helped so much with my packing issues! Thanks you soooo much.

Jessica Peri (author) from United States on August 17, 2018:

@ ava Chances are you'll be able to find a grocery store or other small shop that has what you need, in case you forget something!

ava on August 13, 2018:

what if I forget to bring something and there is not a store\flea market around?

Lupita on July 30, 2018:

I am going to Florida tomorrow. A bit nervous but I guess if I forget to pack something I could just buy it there right?

Cindy spicer on July 29, 2018:

Going to Destin and Navarre for 9 days having trouble deciding how much ( cause I always seem to take shit I don’t need) and what to pack I will be going for a morning beach wedding , family weekend and some sightseeing

Jessica Peri (author) from United States on July 12, 2018:

@dancer101 Have fun!

@dancer101 on July 09, 2018:

I'm going to Florida very soon. I can't wait!!

Jessica Peri (author) from United States on June 08, 2018:

@Kate You're welcome!

Kate on June 06, 2018:

I'm going to Florida in two days thank you for th e information

Jessica Peri (author) from United States on April 14, 2018:

@Gabby I hope you have/had a good time!

Gabby on April 08, 2018:

Thanks for the help! I am going to Florida in 2 days!

Jessica Peri (author) from United States on March 30, 2018:

@Mike Hardy They do sound convenient - thanks for reading!

Mike Hardy from Caseville, Michigan on March 27, 2018:

Spot on. I’m a big fan of Tom’s slip on shoes. Great for comfort on board a flight and quickly getting through security.

Averymay on March 20, 2018:

This is so helpful! I'm leaving for Florida in a couple of days and was having trouble packing. You have solved my problem. Thank you so much!!! :)

Jessica Peri (author) from United States on March 12, 2018:

@Andrew Smith No problem!

Andrew Smith on March 12, 2018:

Thanks for the help!

Jessica Peri (author) from United States on February 16, 2018:

@Softball23 Have fun!

Softball23 on February 15, 2018:

I am going there in a couple days!

Jessica Peri (author) from United States on January 30, 2018:

@Anon Have fun!

Anonymous on January 29, 2018:

Thank you, this helped! Im going to there within 3 weeks!

amanda on October 29, 2017:

that was helpful im going soon

Jessica Peri (author) from United States on April 14, 2017:

@Lily I'm glad it helped!

LILY MADERY on April 09, 2017:

THIS HELPED ME SO MUCH

Jessica Peri (author) from United States on May 06, 2013:

Thanks! I'm glad you found it helpful.

rose-the planner from Toronto, Ontario-Canada on May 06, 2013:

Great tips! Thanks for sharing.

Jessica Peri (author) from United States on February 01, 2013:

Thanks for the feedback! I've personally only been to Florida once or twice, but I did enjoy the weather, and the attractions. You're lucky to live there!

Mary Hyatt from Florida on February 01, 2013:

Thanks for the nice Hub about the state I live in: Florida. I came here from Georgia for the warmer climate, but we do have what I call cold weather. Last night it was probably in the lower 50's and I turned my heat on. It is a great state with lots of attractions.

Thanks for the interesting Hub, Voted this UP, etc.

Jessica Peri (author) from United States on December 25, 2012:

Thanks, I'll be sure to add a line or two in about those. Thanks again! And have a great holiday!

Kawika Chann from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place on December 25, 2012:

Nice job, though if you are visiting a little north in the pan-handle nights can get pretty cold. Also check the south most islands to see if hurricane activity is present, if there is, the signature move is to flip north towards florida. The parks are awesome though! Voted you up/useful. Peace. Kawi.